Each day, thousands of organizations benefit from the R&D information available through CORDIS. In order to give you, our CORDIS-News Service users, a better idea of the ways in which CORDIS can assist your organization, we will, on a regular basis, profile a particular organization, how it has used CORDIS, and how it has benefited from information gained through the service. The first profile in the series concerns the University of Ulster (UK). The University of Ulster, the fourth largest university in the UK, has participated in a considerable number of EU-funded research projects since its establishment as a university in 1984. NIKEL (Northern Ireland Knowledge Engineering Laboratory), founded in 1992 as a joint venture between the University of Ulster's Faculty of Informatics and International Computers Limited, helps in the positioning of Northern Ireland as one of Europe's information technology powers by ensuring that local industry has access to cutting edge technology. It acts as a bridge between academic knowledge and its commercial exploitation allowing, for example, the public sector and SMEs to gain competitive advantage through the application of advanced software technology such as knowledge engineering, advanced multimedia telecommunications and database computing. NIKEL has successfully obtained research funding from industry, the EU R&D Framework Programmes and UK national research programmes and has created a stable and increasing clientele, expert management and a staff of professional developers. To increase research collaboration, keep up-to-date with technology and present ideas and concepts, strong associations have been established with related research laboratories in Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, the USA, China and Japan. NIKEL has used CORDIS for a variety of reasons, including to: - Search for potential partners; - Submit their partner profile allowing potential partners to access their request; - Access detailed, up-to-date information on EU research programmes including the most recent calls for proposals; - Keep abreast of the latest research projects and research results; - Download and print out programme information packs and application forms. Through their use of CORDIS, NIKEL was able to: - Find a partner through the CORDIS RTD-Partners partner search facility; - Submit a detailed proposal before the R&D programme deadline; - Receive offers from a number of organizations to participate in various EU projects; - Obtain timely programme information and assistance; - Make regular contacts with other researchers in the field. Commenting on the benefits derived from using CORDIS, Caroline Grant, Research Officer at NIKEL, noted "NIKEL has had great success with using the CORDIS Partner Service to search for potential partners when forming consortiums to submit EU research proposals. The Service contains details of thousands of organizations either seeking or offering themselves as partners for collaborative projects. CORDIS provides a centralized source of information for looking for partners with specific expertise who are located in a specific Member State. NIKEL has found CORDIS a very useful tool in helping to establish a number of relationships or partnerships throughout Europe".